BOSTON (CBS) – It’s Christmas Eve, which means eyes around the world will be focused on the sky as Santa Claus makes his annual voyage.

As has been the case for over 50 years, families can track Santa’s every move thanks to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Not even the partial government shutdown could keep NORAD from following the man in red. NORAD said military personnel who run the tracking service are supported by 1,500 volunteers each year.

NORAD’s Santa tracker followers the man in red on his Christmas Eve voyage. (Image Credit: NORAD)

The tradition began in 1955 when an advertising company based in Colorado Springs misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations hotline.

“The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole,” the NORAD Santa website explains. “Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.”

In 1958 CONAD became NORAD, and the tradition has continued ever since.

Visit the NORAD Santa tracker website throughout the night.


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